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Pastor Chupp brings NASCAR to Theme School's Good News Club

Ken Chupp, tire specialist on the Number 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup Team, shows the gas can used by the pit team to refuel the car. Chupp, who is also associate pastor with Philadelphia Baptist Church in Rutledge, spoke on Thursday to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students who are members of the Newton County Theme School’s Good News Club.

Ken Chupp, tire specialist on the Number 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup Team, shows the gas can used by the pit team to refuel the car. Chupp, who is also associate pastor with Philadelphia Baptist Church in Rutledge, spoke on Thursday to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students who are members of the Newton County Theme School’s Good News Club.

COVINGTON — Working with NASCAR is more than just a fun occupation for Ken Chupp — it is also an opportunity for him to share some good news.

An associate pastor at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Rutledge, Chupp is the tire specialist on the Number 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup team. He brought the 49 car — which is a reserve car that was most recently driven at the Texas Motor Speedway — to the Newton County Theme School on Thursday to speak to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students who are members of the school’s Good News Club.

Kena Hudgins, a sixth-grade teacher at the Theme School, and Brittany Atha, who teaches fourth grade, have organized the before-school club for those students who gather once a month to hear an inspirational message from different members of the community.

Standing in front of the No. 49 car parked in the school’s parking lot, Chupp described to the students how he got started working with NASCAR and gave the students three lessons to follow if they want to be successful.

“Whatever you do, watch with an eye to learn – not just to be entertained,” he said, pointing out that students should choose those television shows that are not only fun, but that teach something valuable.

Chupp advised the students to also “anticipate what is needed and what is coming next.”

And finally, he urged students to participate in those things that interest them.

“Don’t let fear stop you,” he said.

Chupp said his first job with NASCAR, sweeping out the garage stalls, was anything but glamorous. He wasn’t allowed anywhere near the NASCAR vehicles. But he was always eager to learn more and pitch in where he could. Soon he was promoted to the position of cleaning the cars.

“I began to learn and they began to let me help work on the cars,” Chupp said.”I was able to work up to do what needed to be done.”

Chupp then provided the students some Bible verses to illustrate his points. Romans 6:23, he said, shows that God allows believers to know what comes in the future so that people can prepare.

“The Bible allows you to set yourself up for the race of life,” Chupp said.

Chupp was the first speaker for the Theme School’s Good News Club. Anyone who is interested in speaking to the Good News Club is invited to contact Hudgins at 404-219-5182.